Before you read any further, look at the houses here.  Here is an example:


They look like normal, everyday Midwestern houses, right?  I mean, some are kind of small but several look pretty nice and all of them are in good shape with well-kept lawns, etc.

So what do these houses have in common?  They have all been condemned as "blighted" by Norwood, Ohio.  They have been seized by the city government and will be torn down.

OK, what's the real reason?  The real reason is that Norwood, Ohio wants a Crate & Barrel store where these houses are.  They think the Crate & Barrel is a better use of the land, and they are pretty sure that C&B will pay them more taxes than these homeowners, so they are taking people's homes and giving the land to the developer.  More here and here on this story, and Cato has a whole bunch of articles on abuse of the Constitution's takings clause here.  We have had our own local ongoing takings debate in nearby Mesa, Arizona.

This kind of garbage happens far, far too often.  If the developer wants the land, he can buy it.  If people won't sell, he can go somewhere else.  Simple.

Update:  Here is a pretty bizare intrusion of local government on your home here, too.  Hope they don't find out house.


  1. dearieme:

    What was the point of the American War of Independence if your various layers of government are going to interfere in your lives so much more than King George's government in London ever did?

  2. SpudKing:

    Jeez, they look like houses downtown in the Historic Districts just west of central and south of Thomas.